Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Before Long, NFL Owners Will Have to Prove It...
Comments by the Ravens owner (likely to get him fined by his fellow owners) underscore the fact that the NFL's contention that some clubs are losing money is still unsubstantiated. At some point, the owners are likely to have to go "open kimono" with their financials to prove these claims or lose ground to the players in the revenue dispute that drives the coming lockout. I tend to believe the owners to the extent that I can think of a few teams who likely would be operating at a loss without revenue sharing from both network deals and things like sky-boxes. For example, Jacksonville, Detroit, KC, ...any others come to mind?
• According to sources involved in the process, the league, in its proposal to players, would like to trim the portion of revenues going to player costs by 18 percent. "We think the end game there may be to meet in the middle and to negotiate it down to 9 (percent)," the union official said.That would mean players go from getting 60% to getting 51% of revenues. That will be a hard sell to players until they have missed a few paychecks - maybe a full year. But the other revenue issues are how revenues are defined/verified (51% of what, exactly.?.) and how those revenues are shared among owners.
- As one league source has reminded us, the NFL was required in conjunction with the lawsuits that followed the 1987 strike to open the books -- and it was revealed at the time that former Eagles owner Norman Braman was paying himself a very high salary and charging unreasonable expenses to the team.
• "There's an agreement in principle (between the NFL and NFLPA) that rookies are paid too much," the league official said....and the rest of the active (and retired) players. We need these little forest fires every now and then to keep the excess of both players and owners in check.